Klarna Becomes Europe’s Most Valuable Fintech at $10 Billion

After a funding mega-round, the Swedish firm has become the most valuable private fintech unicorn in Europe.

Sweden-based payment and shopping service Klarna has completed its latest equity funding round, raising $650 million and achieving a valuation of $10.65 billion – cementing it as the highest-valued private fintech company in Europe.

The funding round was led by Silver Lake Partners, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, and funds managed by HMI Capital and BlackRock. Other current investors include Dragoneer, Bestseller, Sequoia Capital and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Klarna has announced its intention to use the funding to invest in its shopping service and expand its global presence, singling out the US as an opportunity for growth. The company already has more than 9 million customers in the US, and 90 million worldwide.

Founded in 2005, Klarna offers an app-based service allowing users to shop online and pay in interest-free instalments while Klarna pays the seller. It competes with other high-profile fintechs including Revolut and Checkout.

Klarna co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said in the deal announcement that the company was at “a true inflection point in both retail and finance.”

“The shift to online retail is now truly supercharged and there is a very tangible change in the behaviour of consumers who are now actively seeking services which offer convenience, flexibility and control in how they pay and an overall superior shopping experience,” he said.

Silver Lake heads Egon Durban and Jonathan Durham hailed Klarna’s business model in a joint statement. “Klarna is one of the most disruptive and promising fintech companies in the world, redefining the eCommerce experience for millions of consumers and global retailers, just as eCommerce growth is accelerating worldwide and rapidly shifting to mobile,” they said.

Klarna’s last funding round was completed in August 2019, raising $460 million and earning the company a $5.5 billion valuation. The company has surged in strength during 2020, as Siemiatkowski claimed in August that the value of transactions processed through its platform increased by 44% through the first six months of the year.

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